Three Kenyan Inclusive Innovators/teams; Lynk, Solar Freeze, and We Farm as Africa Regional Winners for the 2018 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) competition. The three will be among twenty (20) Regional Winners who will gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the final round of the global tournament on November 8th, 2018 where four will emerge winners, each receiving a cash prize of USD$250,000 (approximately UGX950 million).
The Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) is a flagship initiative of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) that rewards Inclusive Innovators: entrepreneurs around the world that are using technology to reinvent the future of work to create a greater shared prosperity. IIC believes that Inclusive Innovation is an economic and moral imperative, and that the key question of their era isn’t what technology is going to do to our economies and society, but what we will do with technology.
The three winners; Lynk, Solar Freeze, and We Farm were among the six (6) other Regional Finalists; Safi Organics, AgroCenta, Brave Venture Labs, Moringa School, PrepClass, and Wesabi selected from Africa. They enrolled in four (4) categories; Income Growth & Job Creation, Skills Development & Opportunity Matching, Technology Access, and Financial Inclusion.
The Winners Lynk, Solar Freeze, and We Farm emerged winners from Skills Development & Opportunity Matching, Technology Access, and Income Growth & Job Creation award categories respectively.
About the Winners
Lynk, is a technology platform for informal workers; a LinkedIn for the LinkedOut. They build the ‘entrepreneurship infrastructure’ to support growth in incomes and careers.
Solar Freeze, is a one stop, turnkey portable off-grid toolkit for localized food production containing a complete ecosystem of smart farm technologies to enhance agricultural productivity.
Wefarm, is a free, digital, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing network available by SMS for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers who have no internet and live on less than USD$1 (roughly UGX3,700) a day.
Other regional winners include; ftCash, iMerit, Plastics for Change, SOLshare (from Asia) and Suma, RedeDots, Levee, Apli (from Latin America). Regional Winners from North America, and Europe will be announced later this month.
MeanWhile, the finalists of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion, another initiative of MIT will attend the Zambezi boot camp during the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) gala at the MIT campus in Boston from November 5th to 9th, 2018. They also will be fast-tracked to the IIC global grand prize with up to USD$1 million available in funding for the winner.